Fri, Dec 27, 2002 - Page 11 News List

Convenience stores to battle for profits on Lunar New Year

STAFF WRITER

Taiwan's top-four convenience stores will offer Lunar New Year dinners-to-go, providing many Taiwanese housewives with the opportunity to have a kitchen-free holiday.

President Chain Store Corp (統一超商), Hi-Life International Co (萊爾富), Family Mart Co (全家) and OK Mart Co said they will begin to deliver the specially-designed fare at the end of January.

The microwavable meals being offered range from four dishes with two soups to eight dishes with one soup and one dessert, with prices starting at NT$2,388 and going as high as NT$3,888. Customers can have meals delivered or pick them up themselves, companies said.

Last year, two convenience stores offering the Lunar New Year's fare -- Hi-Life and Family Mart -- reaped NT$45 million in sales, media reports said.

Eyeing the success achieved by Hi-Life and Family Mart last year, the other two major convenience stores, President Chain Store and OK Mart, also decided to join the competition.

All four chain stores said they have hired well-known chefs, restaurants or food companies to prepare their dishes.

President Chain Store, the nation's largest convenience store operator, with 3,000 7-Eleven outlets, said it will focus on traditional Taiwanese dishes. The company said it hopes to sell 10,000 set meals during the Lunar New Year holiday, which begins on Jan. 31 this year.

Hi-life and Family Mart will offer more menu choices, reduced prices and delivery services, the reports said.

Hi-life and Family Mart will rely on I-Mei Foods Co (義美食品) to prepare an estimated 25,000 set meals next month.

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